26-Line Persuasive Essay Tips and Tricks for a Great Score 1/23 – Persuasive Writing

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26-Line Persuasive Essay

  • Tips and Tricks for a Great Score

1/23 – Persuasive Writing

  • Create three columns in your journal
  • KNOW
  • WANT to know
  • Bullet information you know about persuasive writing
  • Bullet information you WANT to know about persuasive writing
  • Save this for what you have learned

What are the elements of a persuasive essay?

  • Hook
  • Thesis
  • Example
  • Analysis
  • Concession
  • Refutation
  • Call to Action

Keep this in mind…

  • Good writing starts with good thinking.
    • So pre-write!
  • Quality > quantity
  • EXPLAIN yourself CLEARLY
    • Assume your reader has NO IDEA what you’re writing about!
    • Being vague/general = low score
  • ALWAYS revise and edit your writing.

Persuasive Essay Writing

  • Purpose: to persuade. Your essay must center around a CLEAR position.
  • You don’t have to be an expert in anything or have specific background knowledge to do well.
  • Use detailed, specific examples to support your thinking.
  • Use a concession and a refutation!
  • You may write in 1st (“I”) or 3rd (“They/he/she”) person as long as your writing is PERSUASIVE.


  • Startling Statement
    • All human being are capable of the most gruesome crimes imaginable. It is only because of the customs and controls of civilization that people do not become savages.
  • Thematic Statement
    • It is not the absence of fear that defines courage, but the ability of one to force onself to take action in spite of fear.
  • Embedded quote that relates to the topic of your paper
    • Nelson Mandela once gave an insightful speech where he explained that “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”


  • This is a common misconception…
  • While that may be true….
  • Mandela accurately pointed out…
  • This applies to…..
  • (connect it to the topic of your paper)
  • Sentence stem: This connects to my paper because….

Claim (THESIS)

  • ANSWER !!
  • Did I mention you should answer the prompt?

Claim (Thesis)

  • Choose ONE side
    • Do NOT acknowledge the other side yet
    • State you view SPECIFICALLY
  • Do NOT repeat the prompt

Body Paragraph

  • Topic Sentence = Set them up for your first point
  • Evidence (explain in two sentences)
  • Analysis (one sentence explaining how this supports your claim)

Evidence #2

  • TS = Transition into your second point…
  • Evidence (two sentences)
  • Analysis (one sentence)

Evidence #3

  • TS (introduce the counter argument)
  • Evidence (identifies the counter argument)
  • Analysis
    • This is your refutation
    • Explain why your point is still the strongest!

How do I effectively persuade with my evidence?

  • Use specific NON-FICTION examples: from your life, from your experience, from your knowledge about the world and modern life…
    • News, current events, history
  • ALWAYS WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW! Don’t use false evidence. Don’t make up facts or hypothetical situations.


  • Refer back to the thesis
  • End with a call to action


  • “IF”
    • Do NOT state hypothetical situations
      • These essays receive the LOWEST scores
      • Ex. If you were to go to the store….
      • Ex.2 – If Johnny had just picked up his water bottle…
  • “YOU”
    • Do NOT address the reader
    • STAAR readers get really offended
    • Break this habit now. It is not appropriate in academic writing.

Practice…. Let’s just look at a prompt

  • The first two steps of the assignment provide information that may be helpful in understanding the prompt, but they are not the prompt. In fact, if you ignore these items, it will not affect your ability to write the essay.
  • It is the third step of the assignment that is your PROMPT. This is what you must respond to in your essay.
  • The final step reminds you of the essentials to include when writing the essay.

Practice Prompt

  • Read the following quotation:
    • “Authentic patriotism is not about you, what you believe or what you think is right…. Authentic patriotism is not an opinion. It’s an action.”
    • – Stephen Kiernan

Practice Prompt

  • Think carefully about the following statement:
  • “Some people define themselves by what they believe, while others allow their actions to speak for them.”

Practice Prompt

  • Write an essay stating your position on which is more important: what a person thinks or what a person does.
  • Be sure to:
  • State your position clearly.
  • Use appropriate organization.
  • Provide specific support for your argument.
  • Choose your words carefully.
  • Edit your writing for grammar, mechanics, and spelling.


  • What is your position? Do actions speak louder than words?
  • What EVIDENCE can you use to support your position?
    • Think of your personal experiences, the news, current events, or history.
    • Use YOUR knowledge about YOUR life and YOUR experiences. Use YOUR knowledge about the world around you.

How can we improve this example?

  • For example, a people posted a lot of tweets about ebola, but some people actually went over there to help. Their actions actually did something. The other people didn’t really contribute to anything.
  • For example, during the Ebola epidemic, one doctor who travelled to Africa contracted Ebola as he cared for patients during their last few (contagious) days. He returned to America, received treatment, and as soon as he was well enough, he returned to Africa to continue the fight against this infectious disease. This doctor did not have to be in the spotlight to be a hero because….

Recommended Format

  • The 26-line essay is a shortened version of what you’ve ALREADY DONE before!
  • Hook & Claim(Thesis)
  • Ev1 Ev1 Analysis– 1st evidence & explanation
  • Ev1 Ev1 Analysis– 2nd evidence & explanation
  • Ev1 Ev1 Analysis– 3rd evidence & explanation (or concession & refutation)
  • Conclusion – review thesis & call to action

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